Ward boundary meeting tonight

The public has another opportunity to have input on potential changes to New Tecumseth’s ward boundaries Wednesday. A public meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. in council chambers, 10 Wellington St. E in Alliston, tonight (Wed., May 13.) At the meeting, people will have the chance to view and give input on the possible changes to the ward boundaries. Council approved a review of the ward system late last year. Potential changes are in an effort to have an equitable system of representation and to accommodate growth in the town over the next 12 years. The review and its options are available online at www.town.newtecumseth.on.ca. For more information call New Tecumseth clerk Gayla McDonald at 705-435-6219.


SCI students pick up education awards

Aaron Bourbonnais, Chris Greer and Tori Iceton, Grade 12 students at Stayner Collegiate Institute (SCI), received Excellence in Education awards last week. The awards were handed out during the Simcoe County District School Board’s Evening of Excellence on Tues., May 5 at the board office in Midhurst. Students that received an award were recognized for success in such areas as academics, extra-curricular activities and community involvement. Teachers nominated students that received awards, said SCI teacher John Limoges, who oversaw the local process. Bourbonnais, 20, who lives in Avening, said it was an honour to be recognized. He received the award for excellent grades and a positive in-class attitude. A member of SCI’s robotics team, he was also recognized for being a solid role model for younger team members and for his overall dedication to the team, which each year builds a robot from scratch and then enters it in a provincial competition. Bourbonnais said the award was somewhat of a pay-off after a rocky start in high school. He said his first year in high school his attendance was sketchy. He said school didn’t interest him and so he dropped out. Unable to find decent work, Bourbonnais said he attended the board’s Adult Learning Centre and began earning credits. He returned to SCI for Grade 12 and will graduate in June. “I never thought I’d get to Grade 12. I just thought high school was a bunch of hype,” he said. “I learned the hard way what you need.” Bourbonnais said he’s not sure what he wants to do after graduation. Greer, 17, who lives in Creemore, also said it was an honour to be recognized by the board. He was singled out for his involvement with many of SCI’s sports teams. Greer has played on soccer teams, basketball teams, badminton teams and hockey teams and according to the teachers that nominated him has shown solid leadership skills. “I like the release I get from sports – getting away from that pent up energy you get from sitting at a desk,” he said when pressed about what draws him to sports. Greer was also honoured for his academic success. He’s maintained a near 100 per cent average in school – he’s made the Honour Roll every year – excelling at such diverse subjects as accounting, chemistry, biology, English, history and physical education. Why such drive? “I recognize the importance of it [high school] determining my future,” he said. “If I do well, hopefully it pays off down the road. I’m trying to think ahead.” Greer said he’s not sure what he’ll do after high school. “I might take a year off. I enjoy traveling so I might do a bit of that.” He said when he does settle on post-secondary school he’d like to attend Acadia University in Wolfville, N.S. He toured the campus recently and said he’s struck by its aesthetically pleasing layout and the small feel of the place. Iceton was recognized for her academic and community involvement achievements. She explained her hard work effort is because she wants to someday be a doctor. “Post-secondary is a big goal for me. I want to be a doctor and to get there I have to do well here,” she said. Iceton has made the Honour Roll at SCI each year and nabbed several subject awards for her success in such areas as French, English and math. Her community involvement for which she was recognized includes helping at Teddy Bears Picnic, a daycare in Creemore. Iceton said she volunteered there in Grade 9, 10 and for part of Grade 11. She also helped clean up sections of area roadways by volunteering through the Creemore Lions Club, when it was operational. She said she got involved through her mother, who was a member. That connection with the club also lead her to help with Santa Claus parades and Canada Day celebrations each year. Iceton is the current student council president at SCI and as a result has helped organize food drives at Thanksgiving and Christmas – with the donations being handed over to the Clearview-Stayner Food Bank.


Alliston’s own fallen angel?

Tree sculptors Robbin Wenzoski, left, and Colin Partridge transform an old maple tree in front of St. Andrew’s  Church, on Wellington Street West in Alliston, into an angel using their chainsaws. The church commissioned the work. After the carving is done and the finish painted on, the two sculptors will have put about 40 hours of work into the project. Anyone who hasn’t checked it out yet, should take a drive or stroll by, it’s really quite remarkable.


Wind energy project proposed

The Municipality of Grey Highlands has its first application for a wind energy project. Council at its regular meeting on April 27 received a lengthy report from municipal planner Lorelie Spencer about the municipality’s first wind energy application. The application is called the Plateau Wind Farm. The proposal would locate a total of ten 1.5 MW large-scale wind turbines at various locations. Nine of the turbines would be in the Municipality of Grey Highlands. The proposal also includes: transmission lines, a meteorological tower and a switching station. The application is the first test of the alternative energy planning policies adopted by Grey Highlands council. Council did not review the actual planning application at the April 27 meeting. Council took a look at Spencer’s formal comments about the project’s draft Environmental Screening Report/Environmental Assessment Report. Spencer’s report was quite lengthy – 12 pages – and pointed a number of areas of the report that were incomplete or insufficient for the project to continue forward. Spencer highlighted a number of deficiencies in the ESR/EIS that need to be addressed before the application can move forward. They include: • Planning Justification Report – scope is inconsistent with local policies • Visual Impact Assessment – not submitted • Ice Throw Report – not submitted • Noise report – scope is inconsistent with local policies • Management Plan – committed to during pre-consultation with the municipality, but not submitted • Site Plan – not considered to be of sufficient detail to fulfill the site plan requirements contained in the local Official Plan • Evidence of no electromagnetic interference – insufficient During her presentation to council, Spencer significantly reduced the size of her report. Several members of council questioned why the municipality is reducing the number of concerns it has about the reports that have been submitted. Spencer explained to members of council that her report was shortened for a number of reasons. She said all of the concerns raised in the initial report would be communicated to the proponents of the application. She said in light of the province’s proposed Green Energy Act (Bill 150) she didn’t want the report to appear to be "onerous" with regards to this initial application. Members of council discussed the report at length. Councillor Paul McQueen said he was concerned the report didn’t include a map showing where the wind towers are being proposed. The reaction of the public to the application was clearly on the minds of councillors. Earlier in the meeting council faced questions from several residents about wind energy projects in the municipality. Council also received a lengthy presentation and report about potential adverse health affects of wind towers from local resident Lorrie Gillis. With the discussion and comments starting to veer off course into the details of the actual planning application – Mayor Brian Mullin had to steer council back on course. "These are comments about a draft ESR/EIS report. These are not comments about the application itself," said Mullin, pointing out that the formal Official Plan and zoning bylaw applications will go through a vigorous public process. Mullin repeatedly warned members of council that they were approving Spencer’s comments about the ESR/EIS report – not the actual planning application. No date has been set when council will hear the formal application for a wind energy project.